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Di Bella's therapy: the last word?

BMJ 1999; 318 doi: (Published 23 January 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;318:208

The evidence would be stronger if the researchers had randomised their studies

  1. Marcus MÜllner, Editorial registrar.
  1. BMJ

    Papers p 224 and Reviews p 268

    Wonder cures for cancer appear regularly. The latest comes from Italian physiologist Luigi Di Bella, whose “multitherapy” comprises a mixture of melatonin, bromocriptine, somatostatin, a solution of retinoids, and, depending on the kind of cancer, either cyclophosphamide or hydroxyurea. Political and media support for Di Bella's treatment led to the courts ruling that Italian hospitals must provide it.1 But research that we publish today (p 224),2 which has already been reported in the media, suggests that the treatment is ineffective and toxic. The research could, however, have been better designed.

    The researchers, who were funded by the Italian government, conducted 11independent uncontrolled multicentre trials …

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